If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. (Numbers 30:2)
Our God always keeps His word (2 Chr. 21:7) and He takes delight in His people when they keep their word (Proverbs 12:22). When we expect God to stick to His word and never break a promise, isn’t it important, as believers, to model the same in our everyday lives?
Open adoption encourages adoptive families to maintain contact with the birth parents. Traditionally, the adoption process was geared towards the child and the adoptive families and did not take the emotions of the birthparents who give up their children for adoption. Birthmothers in particular had no option to receive any input about the future of her child and was simply expected to ‘move on with her life’ post-adoption. This was not only unfair but it also left the children wondering about their heritage and their past when they had no contact with their biological parents. Open adoption now paves way for uniting both adoptive and biological families in ensuring the emotional security of the child.
If you have opted for an open adoption and vowed to be in regular contact with the birth family, you must keep you word. Your child’s birth family deserves to know about the condition of the child they have given up. It will give them an opportunity to know they did the right thing in giving their child to you and will make them happy to see the child enjoy the life they feared they couldn’t give.
God expects His children to keep their promise, no matter how uncomfortable or unpleasant it could be to do so. If you break your word, it reflects poorly on your integrity and that’s not pleasing to God’s eyes because righteousness and integrity are the two main characteristics of a Christian.
How difficult can it be for you to maintain contact with the birth family? You need not write them letters every single day! A simple card with a photo of the child or a brief note letting them know that they are in your thoughts and prayers will go a long way in establishing a healthy relationship with them. It doesn’t take too much of your time and it will not reduce or somehow alter your role as the child’s parents. In fact, you will earn much love and respect from your child. Your child will live in total security and peace about his life and that’s the most important thing for any parent. It will also be a wonderful and godly example of true Christian love and commitment and will turn out to be a blessing for you. Remember, you are the best role models for your child. When you honor your word and keep a promise, you will find favor not only in the eyes of your child and his or her birth family, but also with God. Don’t miss that opportunity to be a blessing to others!
“Learning what to choose, and how to choose, may be the most important education you will ever receive.” –
Dr. Shad Helmstetter
Decisions, decisions, decisions. From the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, we are confronted with a whole range of choices. Every day decisions such as what outfit to wear to work or what to cook for dinner are a matter of routine and aren’t that difficult to make. But, there are certain major decisions in life that need careful prayer, thought, and agreement with spouse in order to give you peace and happiness.
A mature believer will seek God’s will and wisdom when faced with major decisions. Choosing to adopt is probably the biggest decision you will ever make as a couple. Therefore, you need to use not only your heart but also your head when making decisions on anything relating to the adoption process. Why is this important? Well, every decision you make as a couple regarding adoption may have serious and lasting consequences. That’s why, while you use your God-given abilities and knowledge, it is also important to prayerfully seek God’s perfect will for your future.
Adoption is heart-based and it involves all your emotions. But, it is not wise to make all the decisions in your adoption process based on your emotions. There are practical aspects to adoption, which have to be dealt with your head. Many couples rush headlong into adoption in their effort to bring home a baby as soon as possible and they end up being heartbroken because of some complication that could’ve been avoided had they used their head and their heart in decision-making. If you are one of them, it is not too late to make adoption work for you! Learn to forgive yourself and learn from your past mistakes. The next time you face a similar situation, you will know to weigh all the pros and cons before you make a decision.
As a Christian, invite God into the decision-making process. Seek his guidance and ask Him to show you how to make wise decisions that are in alignment with His will and His Word. Apart from praying, you must be committed to knowing His Word. Knowing God’s will at a time when you have to make a major decision will equip you with a biblically informed way of thinking and help you make the right choice. As Paul shows in an example in 1st Corinthians 6-10, before you make a decision you need to find out if your decisions will bring strength and encouragement to your life and ultimately glorify God.
At the end of the day, God honors every prayerful effort and intention. He knows you can’t ‘know-it-all’ before you decide. Only He can! So, trust in Him and prayerfully consider every decision before you move ahead.
The Adoption Prayer Bracelet was inspired and designed by Christian adoptive mother Mardie Caldwell. Enduring seven pregnancy losses, adoption was the answer to her prayer of becoming a mother.
Each and every adoption prayer bracelet is lovingly handmade and created with prayer and patience in the United States. Each bracelet includes a 1″ custom heart shaped pewter adoption prayer charm stating “My Adoption Prayer” on one side… and “Pray Without Ceasing, 1 Thes 5:17″ on the other. All proceeds go to benefit Lifetime Adoption Foundation, a nonprofit charity focused solely on the needs in adoption.
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Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family
– Kofi Annan
We’re familiar with the phrase ‘knowledge is power’. Truth be told, while we are familiar with this adage, we often forget to apply it in our everyday lives. This is especially true when it comes to reading and understanding important documents and contracts. We just run through the pages or give a cursory glance at the contents, before signing on the dotted line. Some don’t even do that!
The adoption process can be quite challenging and time-consuming. The prospective parents have only one thing on their mind – to bring their baby home. And that’s perfectly natural. Couples who have gone through unsuccessful assisted reproductive treatments like IUI, IVF, or ICSI suddenly have the hope of bringing home a baby of their own. They are excited and anxious at the same time and their emotions are understandable. But, the adoption process is pretty vigorous. It requires couples to spend time with the agency and the adoption professionals, as well as reading through the adoption contract to understand the terms of the adoption process.
If you have trouble paying attention to anything in print, you may have to take it up with your school! From grade school to college, many students just go through the motions of reading and writing, creating a veritable treasure trove of disinformation: a) In Guinessis, the first book of the Bible, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. B) Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments; he died before he ever reached Canada c) Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock d) History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. e) The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. While it may be very funny to read, we can all learn something from this – we must spend time in preparation when we are faced with life-changing decisions and we surely need to pay attention to what we read!
If your adoption is not complete and you have not read your adoption contract yet, I strongly recommend picking it up right now and spending time reading it. Don’t try to read it in between work or when you are mentally occupied with other things. You have to be mentally present when you read the contract. Ensure that both you and your spouse understand the entire terms of the adoption contract. A poorly read contract may cause you a lot of confusion and frustration in your adoption journey. If you have any doubts or questions, get in touch with your adoption professional. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
God’s delays are not God’s denials.
-Robert H. Schuller.
Have you been praying long and hard for God to bless you with a baby? Every month as you watch your pregnancy test turn up negative, do you suspect God’s ability to answer your prayer? Or, after months and years of waiting, do you now think God has denied you of a chance to become a parent?
I love the words of Pastor Schuller: God’s delays are not God’s denials. Sometimes we expect God to do an instant miracle and relieve us of our burden. We hear stories of how other women prayed and the next month they conceived twins! It can be emotionally and spiritually taxing to keep waiting on God when nothing seems to be happening and you aren’t even sure He hears you. Well, let me tell you a little story about the Chinese bamboo tree: The Chinese plant the seed and they water and fertilize it. The first year nothing happens. But the Chinese continue to water and fertilize it until the fifth year, even though it shows no sign of life or growth. At some point in the fifth year, the first shoots come out of the earth. Within the span of six weeks, the Chinese bamboo tree grows to a height of 90 feet! Now, if I asked you how long it took the Chinese bamboo tree to grow, what will be your response – five years or six weeks? Well, five years, of course! The Chinese patiently watered and fertilized the plant for years before their efforts were rewarded.
We all have our ‘Chinese bamboo tree’ experiences in life. Infertility is one of them. We wait and pray, hoping for a miracle, but nothing seems to be happening. As God’s children, we have security in the fact that God is for us and not against us. He knows our secret longings and innermost desires and He wants to meet them. But, He will do so in His own timing and we should watch and pray in perseverance. Although it may seem that God is delaying your miracle, you must realize that God is neither early nor late…He’s just on time!
Wait on the Lord, wait cheerfully,
And He will thy youth renew;
Wait on the Lord obediently,
Whatever He bids thee do.
Wait on the Lord, for whom hast thou
On earth or in heaven but He?
Over thy soul a watch He keeps,
Whatever thy path may be.
-Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes,
A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted.
It is tragic that there are many people who use the name of our Lord to manipulate and cheat others. This world is full of rebellious and greedy individuals who will go to any length to make money. Sadly, Christian adoption is no exception. There are many people who use God’s Word and talk ‘Christianese’ to dupe unwitting and desperate couples of their hard-earned money.
Some of the most common scams in Christian adoption are listed below, so that you can be wary of them in your quest to adopt a baby:
- Adoption from African countries, especially Cameroon – Some couples try to adopt a baby using their own resources instead of a professional adoption agency. They unwittingly transfer funds to unscrupulous individuals and end up without a baby and a huge hole in their wallet.
- Adoption of multiples – Some women try to give up twins and triplets without sufficient evidence of pregnancy. If they refuse to get in touch with your attorney or adoption facilitator, that’s a big warning sign. You must exercise caution in such cases.
- Other Cases – Some other common means of scams include asking money immediately after sharing a very desperate and sad story, adoption professionals who advertise and ‘shop around’ for adoptive families, and adoption professionals who ask you to ‘invest’ money to show you to a prospective birth mother.
How Can You Avoid Such Scams?
Firstly, trust God to lead you to the child He has waiting for you. When you deal with innumerable frustrations and heart-breaks of adoption, you may be tempted to question the motives of every adoption professional and agency. This will leave you jaded and exhausted. When you believe that God has a good plan for your future and is willing to take your hand and guide you through the bumpy road of adoption, it releases you to come under the power and protection of His grace, mercy, and love. Trust in God and His timing. Ask Him to give you the wisdom needed to see through such scams and make the right decisions at the right time. Secondly, choose an experienced and reliable adoption professional to guide you through the adoption process and help you stay out of the traps of adoption scams.
Save a man and you save a unit; save a boy and you save a multiplication table — Gipsy Smith
What does the Bible have to say about adoption? Can an adoptive family ever be like a real family? Is this right in the eyes of God? These may be some of the questions troubling you as you contemplate Christian adoption. Surprisingly, the Bible has a lot to say about adoption! Let’s take a look at God’s view of a family unit and His plan for orphans and abandoned children:
Adoption is legal (and Biblical)
Yes, we all know that there are several laws and regulations in most countries that make adoption legal. But, did you know that adoption existed in Biblical times as a legal option? According to the Word of God, the adopted child enjoyed the privilege of becoming a legitimate heir to the father’s estate and was treated as one among the family. The adopted child was treated as someone ‘born into’ the new family and as someone who has just started a new life! There are many examples of adoption in the Bible: Esther’s adoption by her cousin Mordecai, Moses’ adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter, and Joseph’s acceptance of Jesus as his son. God even adopted the entire tribe of Levi as His own. The Bible indicates that there is no difference in the roles and responsibilities of parents and children, whether the child is biological or adopted. Adoptive families are ‘real’ families in the eyes of God and in the eyes of law.
Spiritual significance of adoption
All believers are children of God and they are heirs through adoption (Rom. 8:15–17, 23; Gal. 4:4–7). This makes each of us a part of God’s adoptive family. God uses adoption as a beautiful metaphor to describe His relationship with those who believe in Him and His resurrection. This gives us the privilege of calling Him “Abba”, which is Aramaic for Daddy and is a Jewish expression of closeness of children with their fathers. In other words, a Christian’s identity is this: I am adopted by God (Eph 1:5). As believers we enjoy the rights, privileges, inheritance of biological children. This is by the law of grace.
The same grace is now available to adoptive families. Every child is a blessing from God (Ps. 128:3) and Christian adoption enables you to build a home with God’s Word as the foundation. Any family that is built on God’s Word will stand the test of time and will be used to extend His Kingdom, whether biological or adoptive!
Our children are not ours because they share our genes…
they are ours because we have had the audacity to envision them.
That, at the end of the day…or long sleepless night,
is how love really works.
Are you afraid of open adoption? Do you think it is not only uncomfortable but also unbiblical? Well, I want to share what I found in the Word of God. Before we find instances of open adoption in the Bible, you must understand that adoption is pleasing in God’s sight. There are many examples of Biblical characters encouraging and demonstrating adoption: The adoption of Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter, the adoption of Esther by her relative Mordecai after the death of her parents, and finally, Joseph’s adoption of Jesus as his own child. Apart from these people adopting children who are not biologically theirs, the Bible says we are the children of God through adoption. In fact the New Testament (Gal. 4:3–7; Eph. 1:1–6) describes the believer’s relationship with God through adoption. So, it is very clear that adoption is divinely authorized and has the blessing of God, our Maker.
But, what does the Bible have to say about open adoption? Well, Joseph’s adoption of Jesus is a beautiful example of this process. He welcomed Jesus as his own, even though Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. He recognized him as his own son and have him all legal rights, including the claim to the Davidic family line. When Jesus was 12 years old, he wandered away from his parents during the Passover Feast in Jerusalem, and was found three days later in the temple talking to the teachers. When he was questioned by his mother, he replies, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Now, no adoptive parent would want to hear something like this. We can only imagine how Joseph felt when Jesus calls God as His ‘father’. The Bible indicates that Jesus spent time alone in prayer, communicating with His Father God. Joseph could have allowed himself to get upset about this. But, he did not allow this kind of open communication with Jesus’ heavenly Father to sour his relationship with his adopted son. We read that Jesus was ‘subject’ to his parents as He grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:51). So, He enjoyed a close relationship with his earthly parents, while communing with His Father in Heaven.
Can we do the same with an open adoption? Yes, we can. The focus of the adoption process should be the child. Your child’s birth family is very much a part of his or her life, whether you like it or not. An open adoption will remove feelings of insecurity and abandonment in your child that comes from not knowing anything about the birth family or not having any contact with them. It is your responsibility to allow your child to have a healthy communication channel with his or her birth family. If you fear complications from it, allow God to remove those fearful thoughts from your mind. Trust in Him and ask Him for the grace you need to opt for an open adoption.
How long, Yahweh, shall I cry
and you will not hear? (Habakkuk 1:1)
This was Habakkuk’s cry of anguish at the growing wickedness in his beloved land of Judah. There was a great internal and external trouble in the land and the wicked were going unpunished. Habakkuk wanted answers from God and He cried out in distress and frustration. While the book of Habakkuk is one of the shortest in the Bible, it overflows with lessons on God’s plan and purpose for His people. It is heartening to know that God answers Habakkuk’s questions and goes on to reveal His divine plans for His children.
While Habakkuk’s reasons for frustration may be starkly different from yours, there is a lot of similarity in his doubting God’s plan and timing. If you have been trying to become a parent for a long time and you are still waiting for God to bless you with a baby, you may be struggling with feelings of fear, frustration, hopelessness, and anxiety. Maybe you have reached that point where you are ready to throw in the towel and give up. But hold on! God has a special plan and purpose for your life and your future.
There is an important lesson we can learn from the Book of Habakkuk: it is okay to question God! Habakkuk questioned God more than once because of his fear and frustration. But, the key lesson is he was honest with his feelings towards God. Maybe you are wondering ‘Why is God silent?’, ‘Has He allowed this barrenness to come upon me?’, ‘How can a God who is good sit back and watch me go through the pain of infertility without coming to my assistance?’, ‘Is God truly who He claims to be? Is He really ready to come to my help?’. Many Christian couples waiting to become a parent struggle with these questions. It is important to realize how we handle these thoughts of doubts and insecurities. Do we run to the throne or to the phone? Are we honest about our emotions and facing them or fleeing from them?
God is willing to answer your questions, just as He answered Habakkuk’s. When you are dealing with thoughts of doubt, you have two choices: to live in fear or to live in faith. The beautiful verses at the end of the Book of Habakkuk show how he chose to live in faith! I encourage you to read them and hold them close to your heart as you wait for God to reveal His plans and timing for your parenthood.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Do you have a family member, friend, or church member who is hoping to adopt? Maybe you know someone who is facing infertility or would like explore adoption. If so, the book Called to Adoption makes the perfect Christmas gift! Called to Adoption is packed with information for Christians who wish to adopt. Readers can discover:
- The single most important decision to make before beginning any path to adoption
- How to select the right adoption professional
- Creative ideas to fund an adoption
- Encouragement from God’s word as they move through His plan
- and more!
In this video, author Mardie Caldwell shares where you can purchase a copy: